As featured on Young Upstarts
by Joel Freimuth, CEO of Blue Pearl Consulting
When one is so invested in a company, it is easy to put the blinders on and focus solely on the operations happening in house. While keeping internal systems running smoothly will positively correlate to success; the best companies are able to maintain an inner strength and keep an eye focused on the external influences that can have a major affect long term.
What can one learn from their competitors? Everything. However, what is typically learned, is very little. Because of this, history tends to repeat itself.
Here are three of the major areas where business owners can look outside of their own company for guidance on how to strengthen internal operations:
The goal of any business is to stay one step ahead of their competitors. This is accomplished by truly understanding who those competitors are and then learning from their successes and failures. By paying attention to the mistakes that have already been made by a competitor, business owners can minimize their own future errors. Much of a company’s decision process is naturally going to be shared by those in the same industry. Put the right twist on another’s successes and steer clear of any major failures.
Paying attention to general industry trends is commonplace for most successful businesses. However, to go above and beyond this, it is important to focus in on particular situations. By seeing how markets have reacted to major (and even seemingly minor) decisions in the past, one can be sure to avoid retracing the steps of costly miscues. This constant awareness of what large and small choices are driving consumers away or keeping them on, is critical.
Do you truly know your industry? How about in other countries and markets? Don’t refuse an angle or opportunity because you think it will not directly affect you. After all, Rome fell in a day.
This can be one of the most time consuming aspects of running a business. However, it is also one of the most critical. Cultivating relationships with people who have their ear to the ground is the best strategy for business development. Along with generating referrals, networking effectively will by its very nature keep one’s eyes and ears in tune with the market and competitors.
No business, large or small, can avoid making mistakes. Whenever there is setback, there is also a chance to improve. A mistake is not just a vulnerability to patch up; it is a critical moment that requires the complete focus of a business. Being mindful of the competition’s pitfalls is a good sensibility to develop and keep any business afloat.